Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
U.S. import prices fell 0.5 percent in April, marking the first monthly decrease since October 2011. April’s decline was below consensus forecasts which had predicted a more modest 0.1 percent decrease. Petroleum prices fell 1.8 percent, driving the monthly decline of the overall index, while nonpetroleum import prices remained unchanged from March to April. On a year-over-year basis, import prices were up 0.5, decelerating from the 5.25 percent average yearly growth seen throughout the first quarter of 2012. Making 1.3 percent yearly growth in April, nonfuel import prices also weakened compared to their first quarter average of 2.5 percent. Petroleum prices fell by 1.7 percent on a year-over-year basis, posting the first decline since 2009. The slowdown in year-over-year growth rates indicate low price pressure stemming from abroad.
Export prices ticked up 0.4 percent in April, after increasing 0.8 percent in March. Gains in both nonagricultural export prices (0.2 percent) and agricultural export prices (2.0 percent) contributed to April’s gain. April’s modest 0.7 percent year-over-year advance was the smallest yearly gain since October 2009.